If my church had 1/2 million it should..........

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Tabitha

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Our church just received $500,000 from a member's estate. The only stipulation is we are not to put it towards buying a building. We rent.

What should we do? What would you do?
 

Carolla

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Wow - for the time being, invest it well. Consult with the UCCan Foundation - they have options which are recommended. Sarah Charters is the person I have communicated with in the past.

Might consider what issue(s) are nearest & dearest in mission to the heart of your church people - consider setting up a scholarship or grant to support mission work in that area. The Foundation can offer great help with that too.

Such a generous gift. I'm sure you will be very thoughtful about its stewardship.
 

Lastpointe

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If you have recently done a JNAC you should have some priorities and wishes. Perhaps it could go to expand a youth program, a food service, an outreach to the community Things that the congregation highlighted as important

another thing I would consider is what did the member Who left the money value? outreach, pastoral care, preaching, youth, food banks, choir........ ??? that might help pull together a short list.

does your church have a bequest committee. Ours has an ongoing list of things they would like to accomplish over time
 

Mrs.Anteater

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Good for the person who left the estate to make that condition. Because otherwise, its often the first thing people think of.
Our church in a a very troubled area of Berlin had invested in creating a cafe in a side wing of the church with its own outside entrance. Volunteers run the cafe plus were available to talk to people. I loved that ” job” and became quite good at making all kinds of coffee beverages, we had a professional machine for that. It was a starting point for people to make contact, come to talk, get connected with resources. the prices were affordable.
Twenty seven years later, it is still running.
 

GordW

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If you have recently done a JNAC you should have some priorities and wishes. Perhaps it could go to expand a youth program, a food service, an outreach to the community Things that the congregation highlighted as important

another thing I would consider is what did the member Who left the money value? outreach, pastoral care, preaching, youth, food banks, choir........ ??? that might help pull together a short list.

does your church have a bequest committee. Ours has an ongoing list of things they would like to accomplish over time
Good advice here. Technically there is no longer such a thing as a JNAC but your cogregation should be encouraged to be developing a Ling Faith Story for posting on ChurchHub. Thsi is something to do and keep up to date all the time, not just when you are in search mode. That process should help see who you say you are and what you say your prioities are (knowing that what we day about ourselves is sometimes different from what we live out)
 

BetteTheRed

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Our church in a a very troubled area of Berlin had invested in creating a cafe in a side wing of the church with its own outside entrance. Volunteers run the cafe plus were available to talk to people. I loved that ” job” and became quite good at making all kinds of coffee beverages, we had a professional machine for that. It was a starting point for people to make contact, come to talk, get connected with resources. the prices were affordable.
Twenty seven years later, it is still running.

There's a church right downtown in Barrie which has done such a thing. Now, mind you, they're a bit fundy, and one of those independent "cult of personality" based things (and I don't like the pastor), and I don't agree with their ideas about addiction (they're adamantly opposed to Safe Injection Sites). That being said, their little cheap cafe (which serves coffee, tea, cookies, a simple lunch - chili or soup & and bun) attracts a lot of downtown residents, and they have this wonderful "pay it forward, treat someone to a meal" exchange whereby you buy a coffee, or a coffee and cookie, or a lunch, for someone after you.
 

revjohn

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Our church just received $500,000 from a member's estate. The only stipulation is we are not to put it towards buying a building. We rent.

What should we do? What would you do?
First and foremost, be very thankful to have a member who believes so strongly in what your Church does. Secondly, maybe take stock of who you are and what you have done to win a members' trust to this degree.

Having thought about that for a moment you might be able to identify what it is that was, for this member, such a vital part of your communal ministry and build on that.

The congregation should take roughly a year to work that particular ministry plan out together. In the meantime, if you can invest that into The United Church of Canada Foundation which exercises strong stewardship and generally gives out a significantly higher than normal return. Officers with the Foundation can likely tell you what the annual return will be on that $500, 000 investment. That return will either be the entire budget for that ministry plan or it will be a significant source of funding for that ministry plan.

Do not invest it and seek to use the interest to pay the day to day bills. Experience shows that when congregants reach the conclusion that the congregation has bundles of money in reserve congregational givings drop. We should not be hoarding such gifts we should be exercising them wisely. Honouring the stewardship of the one who gave the gift by using good stewardship to ensure that the gift is making the maximum impact it can.

The ministry plan should seek to maximize the various gifts and talents of the congregation alongside the financial gift to ensure that it is an activity which gives life to participants.
 

Mendalla

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JNAR/MAP Tomayto/Tomahto
understand pop culture GIF
 

Mendalla

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The easy answer! Send it to WC2!
LOL. That would keep us going for the next century or so if we keep it as is. But, with cash like that, I could put us on a dedicated server, add a few dozen add-ons, promote us using Google ad placements, and pay myself a salary to run it all. :unsure:

:unsure:

Hey, there's my retirement plan. :D
 

Mendalla

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More seriously, there's some good advice upthread, esp. about making use of the UCCan Foundation. Having someone with experience and resources in managing large bequests would be invaluable regardless of how you spend the money.

FYI, if you have a lot of kids and young people, what about a scholarship fund. You could even extend it to families in the community that need support to send their kids to college or uni.
 

Carolla

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I like the scholarship fund idea - and note that the UC Foundation has some already set up - for example there is one that focuses specifically on supporting Indigenous people in post-secondary education. (Tabitha - remember that walk we did in the pouring rain in Oshawa to raise funds for that scholarship fund! LOL) Sometimes adding to an existing fund is more beneficial - the payouts can be larger (and thus often more helpful/meaningful) than having a smaller fund that generates just a small amount for the scholarship recipient - which while appreciated, often does not make a significant contribution to their ability to seek education.
 

Lastpointe

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sadly $500,000 doesn’t go too far and in this economic times it doesn’t get much annually in interest. Not really enough to invest and just use the interest

but it is enough to be creative with

an idea might be a congregational letter, outlining the things the donor was involved in, their career, their interests...... and ask for suggestions from the congregation.
if you don’t already Ideas have whatever has replaced the JNAC. Lol. Shows how long it has been since I was doing church Board things
 

Seeler

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If my church received a gift or bequest of $500,000 with no strings attached, I would put it toward our existing plan for repairing and upgrading our building in order to continue and upgrade our outreach program (major repairs that are already started are estimated to over a million dollars).

If the gift came to my church with a stripulation such as Tabitha's, I would likely direct it to supporting our present outreach, while encouraging weekly offerings and fundraising to be temporarily directed to church maintenance and repair.

Each church is different. Each must decide its priorities. A review, whether we call it JANC or visioning or whatever would be a starting point. (we do one periodically)

Needless to say, we seek God's guidance and try be open to all possibilities.
 

unsafe

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Does Your Church belong to God or man ? If the money was left to a church that is suppose to belong to God then God should get the first fruits of the money given ----which is 10% of the 500,000----Praying and asking God where His first fruits of the money should go should be top on the list and wait for an answer ---and then through prayer asking where the rest of the money should be spent would be using the money to serve where God feels the need and He would know where the need is ------God will always answer the prayers of His Children who pray His will -----and giving to the needy is His will ---
 
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